Irving scores 44, Hardaway Jr. 32 as Luka-less Mavericks beat Knicks 128-124

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Friday, January 12, 2024

DALLAS -- - Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 44 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 32 in his fifth start of the season and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks, playing without superstar Luka Doncic and two other starters, held off a late charge to beat the New York Knicks 128-124 on Thursday night.

After Irving had 20 in the third quarter, the Mavericks led 115-96 with 7:19 left in the game before the Knicks pulled within 121-120 with 1:08 to go on Donte DiVicenzo's 3-pointer.

Josh Green hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left for the last of his 18 points following three Dallas offensive rebounds for a 124-120 lead. Irving and Hardaway combined to sink four free throws in the final 11.1 seconds left to seal the win. Hardaway tied his season high.

"To come up with the three offensive rebounds at that point was huge," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. "And then for Josh to get another shot at it. There was no hesitation when the ball found him."

Dallas native Julius Randle led the Knicks with 32 points. Jalen Brunson, playing in Dallas for the first time since leaving the Mavericks in free agency in July 2022, scored 30.

DiVincenzo had 19, but the Knicks lost for the first time in six games since acquiring OG Anunoby from Toronto on Dec. 30.

Anunoby scored 10 points, eight in the fourth quarter. Randle's 67th career 30-point game tied him with Willis Reed for fifth place in club history.

Irving and Hardaway were a combined 12 of 23 on 3-pointers as Dallas, averaging 15.1 3s going into play, hit 17 of 41 to New York's 14 of 42. Irving also led the Mavericks with 10 assists.

The Knicks came off their best defensive effort of the season in Tuesday's 112-84 win at home against Portland. They allowed 44 in the first quarter, falling behind by 19, and were down 20 late in the half.

"We didn't do ourselves any favors to start the game," Randle said. "We've got to come more prepared, ready to play. We thought we had a final breakthrough in the fourth, but we couldn't get a rebound.

"Last two times we've been here, I feel like we lost games because we couldn't get rebounds at the end."

When the Knicks were previously in Dallas in December 2022, the Mavericks rallied from nine behind with 33 seconds left to win in overtime in a game in which Doncic had a career-high 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists.

Doncic sat out Thursday's game with an ankle injury. The Mavericks were also missing center Dereck Lively II and guard Dante Exum.

Anunoby, coming off his Knicks-high 23 points on Tuesday, took his first shot three minutes into the second period and finished the half with two points.

Brunson's first half included a technical foul called in the closing seconds.


Knicks: At Memphis on Saturday.

Mavericks: The first of two consecutive games against New Orleans on Saturday.



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